If you received financial aid but the support offered isn’t enough or up to what you expected, you can always write a letter of appeal for change. The worse that could happen is that your appeal gets rejected, but not to fear, your financial aid still remains the same.
I know most of you might be worried you would lose everything. To better understand and navigate a financial aid appeal letter, you need to understand how the appeal process works and what they look out for when reviewing an appeal.
The success or failure of your financial aid appeal letter is, however, resting on the shoulders of how well you present your appeal to the college’s financial aid committee.
What Is a Financial Aid Appeal?
A financial aid appeal letter is a request written to the institution’s authorities to increase the financial support offered to you. The financial aid appeal letter is written only after you have received the monetary award.
This financial aid appeal letter is for cases where you might not have received as much financial aid as you were expecting to sufficiently fund your education.
In the financial aid appeal, however, you appeal to the institution’s authorities to reconsider the initial offer and review upwards the amount offered. Not all institutions offer financial aid and even less grant revenue for an appeal for more funding.
We will be looking into steps to write convincing appeals that would make sure that your financial aid appeal would definitely be accepted.
Can I Be Denied a Financial Aid? What Do I Do If I Get Denied Financial Aid?
Yes, you can be denied financial aid for many reasons. The fact is that not everybody is eligible to apply for free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). So, what might be the reason why your financial aid is denied:
- Your academic progress is not satisfactory
- Previously defaulted on an existing federal student loan
- You owe a refund on a previous grant
- You are enrolled in an academic program that makes you ineligible for funding
- Noncitizen status of yours was revoked or expired
- You are incarcerated
- Involving in a crime involving federal student aid fraud or drug-related crime
Now assuming you might have defaulted in one way or the other, what can be done to get you right back on track. Well, first off you have to work on your grades and get them right back up to standard.
After which you can talk to your school about you can appeal the decision to make you eligible again to receive financial aid.
If you have been convicted for drug-related crimes, you might not be eligible to apply for financial aid until the next academic year.
If you were, however, incarcerated, you might not be eligible until you are released before you can get the type of aid available to you.
However, in a case where accidentally received more federal student loan or grant money than you were supposed to get, you will need to repay back the excess amount either all at once or plan to pay in installments.
What Are The Good Reasons To Appeal For Financial Aid?
You might wonder if you have good backing to appeal for financial aid. Well, look no more because we have compiled a list of solid reasons that could make your financial appeal letter convincing and effective.
1. Better school offers:
It is a jungle out in there. You may have gotten more enticing offers from other schools, or might have been offered a scholarship or affordable education by another school, and if they wish to keep your brilliant self in their team, then they would have to up their game.
Most times, this is the main reason for applying for a financial aid appeal. Maybe your parent, guardian, sponsor, older siblings, or relative that have been supporting your education have fallen out into the unemployment line thereby creating a strain on your education funding.
This is a very good reason why you should appeal for financial aid. Also, this might be a reason for the family business running out of business.
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3. Your parents are still paying for his/her educational loan:
Almost every graduate has a backlog of educational loans to pay off and as such, some of your parents might be stuck in such a situation.
This serves as a good reason to apply for a financial aid appeal. Some parents might even be enrolled in an institution currently and are paying for tuition and other fees.
4. Family Change:
There might have been a divorce or separation between your parents or your guardians or your sponsors and this not only affects the emotional balance of the family but as well the financial basis of the people involved.
There is no surprise why it’s a good reason to appeal for financial aid. Parents or guardians may be fighting for alimony or just maybe a family member just passed on.
5. Natural Disaster:
Natural disasters are always out of the blues and strike at the most unexpected times. This may cause a lot of damage and as such affect the financial balance of most families.
An earthquake or tornado might have struck and you might be a victim added to home repairs and educational funding. This is a great reason for a financial aid appeal.
6. Loss of a job:
You might have been laid off from the part-time job that helps you rake in a couple of bucks that helps support your educational finances and as such have no source of income to support you. This serves as a good reason to appeal for financial aid.
7. Offering family financial support:
Your parents might just be too old to fend for themselves or too ill and as such you are required to extend financial help to them. Also, some of your family members might be overseas and need financial support from you.
8. Medical emergency:
You might have fallen ill or might have experienced some medical emergencies have bills to pay. This serves as a good reason to appeal for financial aid.
This also extends to your family members or parents who might have also experienced some sort of medical emergency and might require your support.
9. Tuition fees for siblings:
The tuition fees of your siblings might overwork your sponsors or parents in private schools or in institutions that pay higher tuition. This serves as a good reason why you should apply for financial aid.
10. Temporary inflated income:
Your parents, guardian, or sponsor might have gotten a huge tax benefit or a large compensation which might lead the institution to think that you are financially buoyant but this compensation is not permanent and might not be present next academic session and as such you would be needing the financial aid.
If you happen to have any of these reasons or problems, then you have a good enough reason to write a financial aid appeal letter.
All you have to do is keep reading and we will get right down to how you would write an amazing financial aid appeal letter.
Do Financial Aid Appeals Get Approved?
Financial aid appeals get approved all the time, no questions asked. The process is, however, largely formulaic and data-driven.
If you get approved, it necessary changes would be made to free Application for federal student aid (FAFSA) application which would in turn yield a new financial aid package for you.
The college financial aid committee could also make some adjustments on their own path.
Is It Bad To Appeal For Financial Aid?
There is absolutely nothing bad about requesting a financial aid appeal. There is nothing it be ashamed of or to be scared of.
Certain unforeseen circumstances led to reasons you might need your financial aid reviewed upwards and the schools and committee are open to hear your reasons and act accordingly if they deem you fit to get further support
Is It Too Late To Appeal For Financial Aid?
It’s never too late to appeal your financial aid decision. Whether you are just moving into the hostels or just accepted your final college decision, you can request an appeal immediately.
You can even request an appeal in the middle of the school year. All you need do is contact your financial aid office either by phone or by letter.
But always remember, the earlier you send out your appeal, the better you stand a chance of getting it approved.
A Detailed Guide On How To Write a Financial Appeal Letter.
You might think that it is impossible to convince all your high and mighty professors in the financial aid committee in your school. Don’t just give up yet, you would be able to convince whoever with the tips we will give you right here.
So don’t just give up on your dream school just yet. Here are simplified 5 steps to take to write an amazing financial aid appeal letter
STEP 1: Have solid reasons why you want to appeal for more funding.
Your reason for appealing must be valid and strong enough to convince the authorities. There are three cases that you could use to compose your financial aid appeal letter.
You might have a serious case of family unemployment or unemployment yourself or a case of financial loss or you might have experienced a medical emergency and you are in need of financial help to pay bills.
Also, you might ask for an appeal to at least reach the offers you received from other institutions. Furthermore, another case might be, you made an error while filling out your Free Application for federal student aid (FAFSA) application.
STEP 2: The early bird gets the worm.
The earlier you get your financial aid appeal letter submitted the better for you.
You should write a couple of financial aid appeal letters and keep on stand by and send them out consecutively in case the initial one you sent out fails or turns out to be insufficient.
The reason is that a good number of students have similar concerns as you and would be applying daily and the longer you wait to apply someone else might snatch up your opportunity and keeping in mind that the schools’ resources are limited and they can only approve a handful of financial aid appeals.
So, the earlier you complete that financial aid appeal letter, the better for you and the higher your chances of getting approved.
STEP 3: Research on what you wish to include in your financial aid appeal letter.
Nothing messes up an appeal letter than getting your facts wrong and to that effect, you would need to sort out important information and facts about the school and how to compose a financial aid appeal letter.
Find out, who the letter is addressed and if there is a specific format in which the school would prefer you to present the financial aid appeal letter.
STEP 4: Now is the time for you to compose your financial aid appeal letter.
The letter should include;
- Address and Salutation: this part of the letter should include the date and name of the designated person as well as the address of the financial aid office and a salutation
- Introductory Paragraph: in this section of the letter, you should express your gratitude for the financial aid already offered and that you do not take there help for granted. Try to also appreciate the financial aid committee. Afterwards, state that you would like to appeal for additional financial aid not forgetting to introduce your valid reasons as to why you need the additional financial aid.
- Body Paragraph: for the next two paragraphs or so, you can fully exhaust your reason for applying for the additional financial aid. Explaining to them the circumstance at hand and proving to them how it poses a challenge to your finances in school. Also, to be included in this paragraph is why you, and not a million others, deserve the extra financial support.
- Concluding paragraph: to top it off, fully appreciate the committee for granting your free Application for federal student aid (FAFSA) application. Don’t forget to emphasise the importance of the additional support to you but try not to over emphasise. Finally, clearly state you attached all the necessary documents to confirm your claims then end the letter by including your email address and cell phone number.
Don’t forget also to go straight to the point and state that you are appealing for financial aid giving all your concrete reasons and also do well not to forget to attach necessary documents to prove your claim.
STEP 5: Here comes the wait.
You might have to wait for a response within a few weeks or maybe a month, but it’s all based on the school. If after a while you get no response, you can follow up on them to find out why their delayed response.
If, on the other hand, you do hear from them and get a positive response, then I guess congratulations are in order.
However, if you don’t get a favorable response, don’t fret. There are a lot of other scholarship opportunities out there you can grab.
Some additional tips to be watchful of when writing your financial aid appeal letter are first, the structure and text formatting.
You would have to pay close attention when editing your financial aid appeal letter to make it catchy and orderly. All you have to do is follow the following editing tips:
- Don’t exceed one and a half pages
- Give your document a one-inch margin on all sides
- Your content should be left aligned
- Use a line spacing of 1.5 inch
- Make sure you double space between paragraphs
- Make sure you send your financial appeal letter in a PDF format
- Use fonts like Calibri, Arial and Times New Roman
- Do not use justification
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Also, don’t forget to be polite and honest, show appreciation and show your sincere gratitude for having your initial financial aid granted, try to keep it as concise as possible, try to be more factual than emotional, stick to the school’s format of how to appeal for financial aid and try to submit your financial aid appeal letter as soon as possible.
Furthermore, try to include details of how hardworking you are and how excellent your academic scores are, try to address the designated person at the financial aid office and not just the office.
Also, try to proofread your letter a couple of times. If possible, get a different set of eyes to help you look through it.
Finally, remember not to be ashamed, be as confident as you can without sounding rude and demanding.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is FAFSA?
This is the free Application for federal student aid. This is where you apply for student financial aid.
What conditions can warrant a financial aid appeal?
- Job loss or decrease in income
- Divorce or separation of parents
- Death of sponsor
- Disabled or handicapped children
- Medical emergencies
- End of child support
What can I do if my financial aid appeal is not approved?
If your financial aid appeal is not approved, you can explore other scholarship options or try and get a part-time job to help support your education
What if I defaulted on my student financial aid and now wish to get it back?
First, you have to find out the reason you defaulted in the first place, then get out of default before you can apply and start receiving your financial aid again.
Can I lose my financial aid?
Yes, you can lose your financial aid if you default in the terms and conditions given for the financial aid.
Following the above steps would assure you a chance at getting your financial aid appeal letter approved. Just stick to the steps provided and you have nothing to fear. Good luck!